Wake Forest wide receiver Greg Dortch was unstoppable against Louisville this weekend, but his season has come to an end with a month to play.
According to a released statement from Wake Forest, Dortch suffered an abdominal injury that will require surgery. That procedure will cost him the remainder of the season. Based on the wording in the statement, it would seem any possibility of a return for the bowl season is not expected.
The injury news comes after Dortch set the school record with four touchdown receptions against Louisville. He caught 10 passes for 167 yards in the big win or the Demon Deacons.
With Dortch out of the offense for now, Wake Forest will likely give junior Tabri Hines the extra snaps on the field. The good news is Dortch will return to wake Forest eventually. He is just a freshman, so he has a couple more years with the program to give the offense a star wide receiver to count on.
Wake Forest plays at Notre Dame this weekend. Without Dortch, pulling the upset in South Bend will be trickier than expected.
Wake Forest was waiting for this game for a year, and it was worth it for Dave Clawson’s program. Wake Forest (5-3, 2-3 ACC) ambushed Louisville (5-4, 2-4 ACC) in the first half and kept their distance in the second half of a 42-32 victory Saturday afternoon in Winston-Salem. Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford passed for 461 yards and four touchdowns and added one rushing touchdown to his box score to lead the way in a showdown with the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, Lamar Jackson.
As hard as he tried, Jackson was unable to carry the Cardinals to a road win. Jackson rushed for 161 yards and passed for 330 yards and a score to lead a rally in the second half, but it was not enough to overcome a rough first half. Wake Forest had two guys ripping up the Louisville defense as well, with Scotty Washington catching six passes for 133 yards and Greg Dortch tormenting the Cardinals for 167 yards and four touchdowns on 10 receptions. On the ground, Wake Forest got 134 yards out of Matt Colburn.
Wake Forest now needs just one more win to become bowl-eligible, although the remaining schedule is not an easy one. Next week, Wake Forest heads to South Bend, Indiana to play Notre Dame. After that is a road trip to Syracuse, followed by home games against NC State and Duke to close out the regular season.
For Louisville, the Cardinals get a week off before their final stretch. Louisville returns to the field on Nov. 11 at home against Virginia.
A year removed from a bizarre scandal involving a Wake Forest radio announcer providing inside tips to Louisville coaches, it is perfectly clear Louisville didn’t have any secrets shared with them after one half of play. Of course, that insider information ended up helping out Louisville in the second half a year ago, so we’ll see what develops after halftime with Wake Forest leading the Cardinals 28-10 at the break.
Wake Forest’s offense is well ahead of their total yardage average with 342 offensive yards in the first half, all while holding the football for eight fewer minutes than Louisville. The Demon Deacons are 4-for-6 on third down and 1-for 2 on fourth with 15 first downs. John Walford has passed for 258 yards and three scores, with all three touchdowns coming through Greg Dortch. Scotty Washington has had his hands on five passes for 127 yards too.
But the Wake Forest defense has been locked in. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson has picked up 75 rushing yards and a score, but throwing the football has not been effective for the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner. Jackson has completed 13 of 22 passes for 112 yards with an interception. Wake Forest has brought pressure on him at times as well and is not letting Jackson hurt them.
It is quite the uphill battle for Louisville on the road in the second half. Wake Forest gets the ball to start the second half.
Notre Dame has had no trouble with undefeated Michigan State through one half, leading 28-7 at the break in East Lansing. While Michigan State has been outmatched on a down-to-down basis, three Spartans turnovers have spelled doom for the green and white thus far.
After a 78-yard touchdown drive to open the game, Notre Dame cracked open a 14-0 lead when Julian Love stepped in front of a Brian Lewerke pass and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown.
The Spartans answered with their best drive of the night, moving 75 yards in seven crisp plays and culminating in a 4-yard toss from Lewerke to Darrell Stewart, Jr. Michigan State forced punts on the next two Notre Dame possessions, but a Lewerke fumble set the Irish up with the ball at the Spartans’ 24-yard line, which turned into a touchdown when Brandon Wimbush found Dexter Williams for an 8-yard touchdown.
Michigan State appeared to pull within 21-14 on the ensuing possession, but a 14-yard L.J. Scott run turned disastrous when he fumbled at the goal line for a touchback. Notre Dame opened its lead to three touchdown just five plays later when Williams raced in from 14 yards out.
Wimbush has completed 9-of-15 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown whilst rushing for 15 yards and another score. Josh Adams leads the Irish with five carries for 50 yards.
Despite his turnovers, Lewerke has led the effort for the Spartans, hitting 10-of-19 passes for 95 yards with a score and a pick and rushing a game-high five times for 54 yards with a fumble.
Michigan State will receive to open the second half.
Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush did plenty of damage with his legs in a 49-20 victory over Boston College. Wimbush made up for a sub-par passing day by rushing for 207 rushing yards and four touchdowns, including a 65-yard run. Not to be outdone, Irish running back Josh Adams rushed for a game-high 229 yards in the road win.
If there was a key point in the second half, it may have come in the third quarter when Boston College failed to pick up a first down on a fourth-and-short at the Irish 30-yard line. The Eagles trailed 14-13 at the time and handed the ball to Jon Hilliman. In most situations, this would be a good decision for the Eagles, but it failed them this time. Notre Dame snuffed out the play and prevented Hilliman from picking up the first down. Notre Dame then orchestrated a nine-play drive to tack on a touchdown to push the lead to 21-13. Brandon Wimbush came through with the key play of the drive with his feet with a 46-yard run down the right side of the field on a 3rd and 10 from the Irish 45-yard line. Tony Jones Jr. later finished the drive with a one-yard score.
Boston College followed that sequence up by ending a drive with an interception, with Shaun Crawford picking off a pass. at the Notre Dame 27-yard line. Adams started the Irish drive with a 36-yard run, and Wimbush followed with a 33-yard pass to Durham Smythe to put the Irish inside the 10-yard line. Wimbush finished the drive by beating the BC defense to the right corner of the field to score a touchdown.
From there, Notre Dame continued to use the ground game to their advantage, scoring seven rushing touchdowns in the game.
Wimbush’s four rushing touchdowns and rushing yardage are school records for a Notre Dame quarterback.
Notre Dame will be on the road once again next week to take on Michigan State. The Spartans had a bye week this week but have gotten off to a bit of a confidence-boosting start to the season with back-to-back double-digit victories against Western Michigan and Bowling Green. Michigan State won last year’s meeting, 36-28, to snap a three-game losing streak against the Irish from 2011 through 2013.
It won’t get any easier for Boston College next week. The Eagles head to Death Valley to face defending national champion Clemson, who will either be coming off a big road win at Louisville or looking to get back on track after a loss. Either way, neither scenario is a good one for the Eagles.